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You can never come home again--even for a funeral

October 19, 2014


17h46 UTC; SUNDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2014: I acknowledge, in opening this post off, that the title was inspired by Thomas Wolfe--but I feel it worth noting that, in reflecting upon a funeral for a loved one so dear and close such as my mother (as died a week ago this evening at 93 years of age from internal injuries and complications of kidney failure), it seems that you can't come home again. Especially when you consider that change is inevitable, and that even people change.

Not to mention the weather being liable to change rather suddenly, especially so in a place such as southeastern Minnesota; which was evident in the fact that I arrived back in Caledonia, MN on Thursday afterlunch under bright and pleasant skies, not even thinking about bringing a jacket or wrap ... only to have things cloud over and cool off somewhat, with the odd show of drizzle, on Friday, when the funeral and subsequent burial took place. Some of the family, in fact, couldn't help but recall similar cloudy, dreary conditions when my father was buried in May of 1993, just as record-breaking flooding was starting to make itself known in these parts.

On the other hand, though, Thursday evening saw the whole "kith and kin" (so to speak) gathering at Good Times, a supper clubish sort of restaurant in Caledonia, for a reunion supper that was in itself especially remarkable and long-lasting well into late. Three tables reserved for the greater clan, starting off with a mixed appetiser basket (onion rings, battered cheese curds, battered mushrooms and even battered Jalapeño peppers) at each table and the advice to order what you liked. (My own case: The "Wild Turkey Capital Sandwich," which was pulled turkey, grilled onions and Swiss cheese grilled on cranberry wild rice bread, with sweet potato fries that, at times, tasted a bit undercooked. Beverage was iced tea with some packets of aspertame to sweeten. Come to think of it, where exactly can one get some cranberry wild rice bread for the home, as opposed to restaurants? I admit the bread was rather delicious for someone who is technically on the edge between "normal" and pre-diabetic--and so was the sandwich.)

Breakfast Friday morning (by which time a brother of mine who shared my own motel room had arrived, yet unable to sleep thanks to frequent coughing spells, restlessness forcing him to change sleeping positions and at least four bathroom breaks) was the complimentary such the motel we stayed at offers guests: My own case was a waffle with syrup, a bowl of oatmeal prepared in microwave, wheat toast, a sour cream donut--and some coffee and orange juice besides. And the dress for the day was some mourning that was freshly-purchased for me (not to mention pressed and ironed) with the help of a close brother of mine, who brought me over (and back).

Once at the service, there was the inevitable show of emotion on my part when the hymns for the service were sung, but otherwise, Your Correspondent was capably holding back the excesses of grief which mother herself displayed when dad passed away at a funeral-home visitation. And in my seeing Mother one last time in her casket, the family Bible resting in her lap, I couldn't help but wonder how she looked like Queen Elizaneth II out England way in her final repose, knowing that her 93 years were long and well-lived throughout.

Following her interment at Union Ridge Cemetery, between Caledonia and Hokah should you ask, the funeral party returned to the church hosting the services for a funeral luncheon laid on by the church ladies: baked ham, cheesy scalloped potatoes, rolls, cake and coffee, milk or water for beverage. Rather delicious, if I may say so (and come to think of it, the leftover ham slices made their way to the supper Friday evening at my brother's house, which I made into modest sandwiches with the leftover rolls for myself--and some caffeine-free Pepsi, with a couple of bottles of water early on ... but not before the final wills of my parents were read and some property was sorted over; I will spare the reader the specific details given their sensitive nature). Even then, the cloudiness and windy conditions continued save for a few peeks of sunshine later on, with a chill in the air being all the more discernible as darkness began setting in.

(Oh, and did I mention where you could see the "selfies" becoming quite frequent among such within the family with camera smartfones?)

Saturday morning, as family members were preparing to return home: The same cloudy and breezy conditions as Friday, complicated by a touch of drizzle on the overnight, was threatening a planned balloon rally liftoff in Caledonia. Though no official announcement had been made by around 7 that morning, when I got up, vis-à-vis the balloons, the family was preparing for a send-off breakfast just down the road from the motel at a favourite local eatery known as the Redwood Cafe, filling up the back room thereof to the extent that some wags among us, in the conversation, thought should be restyled for the family. And while the memories were plenty, if the contacts were but fleeting, many had to go back home by way of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, even allowing for the drive, rental-car return and security screenings; hence, there was much to be had over a more typical small-town cafe breakfast in terms of goodbyes and promises to keep in touch and keep the memories of mother close in our hearts and minds.

(Incidentally, I chose their Everything Omelet--cheese, bacon, sausage, ham, diced peppers and onions, even bits of tomato--made with egg substtiute, a side of has browns, wholemeal toast and hot tea on the side, at that breakfast.)

And after checking out and getting my things--including some flowers as were delivered for the funeral in mother's memory--my brother drove me back home, surrounded by some rather potent fall colours on the hills and blufflands such as dominate the local topography. During the drive over, the sun managed to peep through the cloud over time, with the rain having held back.

"You can't go home again"--or can you, especially when you realise things have changed in the some 50 or so years you've been around, even in the so-called "REAL America" of conservative prolefeed delusion?

To close out this post, something of an announcement:
Your Correspondent, in seeking to as much "widen his horizons" in the blogosphere as help the healing the process from the loss of a much-loved and yet so close person like his mother by way of his imagination, is in the early stages of developing a second blog.

A blog which is, essentially, inspired by as much the loss of animation from the Saturday-morning schedules of FreeVee in the United States about a fortnight back as well as the recent announcement by Boomerang, a sister channel of the Cartoon Network cable channel, that it would be undergoing a major revamp heading into the New Year as would deemphasise its roots in showcasing classic Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers animation, roots going back to when Boomerang was a Sunday-morning staple of Cartoon Network.

Otherwise known as offering some original fanfics, DeviantArt.com stylee, as manage to come out of my Rooibos-enriched imagination involving some of the more obscure and yet whimsically-entertaining specimens of Hanna-Barbera animation. Some involving mashups with specimens of Old Time Radio at their best (one in development right now imagines the Cattanooga Cats playing Duffy's Tavern), others imagining what could be "postcards from the road" in the Anthony Bourdain/Charles Kuralt vein, even imagining some of Hanna-Barbera's vehicles such as the Invisible Scooter of Help! It's the Hair Bear Bunch and the CB Bears' garbage truck turning up in the Sonic Drive-In adverts (and no, there isn't a Kids' Meal tie-in) as mashups combining live action backgrounds with animated foregrounds. And some unlikely scenarios for the Hanna-Barbera characters you thought you forgot about.

The whole being tenatively styled "It's So Hanna-Barberaesque."

And, in all likelihood, to be dedicated, notwithstanding its unofficial nature, to the memories of their namesakes, William Hanna (1910-2001) and Joseph Barbera (1911-2006), the latter a very wonderful acquaintenance of mine in the day. As well as to its two greatest vocal talents, Daws Butler (1916-1988) and Don Messick (1926-1997), and its main creative genius (aside from its namesakes), Iwao Takamoto (1925-2007), who helped define Scooby-Doo's character and personality.

In any event, do watch for further details as to its development and launch. And tell especially such of you as are fans of Saturday morning's glory days, when cartoons seemed to dommo the TV (and cable, for the most part, was but to improve reception in difficult terrain).

So till next time, folks: "73"
(Which, incidentally, was railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "goodbye.")


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There will be an interval

October 13, 2014


14h34 UTC; MONDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2014: The rationale explaining the titling of this post, essentially superseding what I had planned to post today, being rather obvious: The news received last evening by way of a close brother of mine that my mother had died at 93 years of age, following at least two months of rather difficult health culminating in a bad fall at her nursing-home in Caledonia, MN last week which, though causing no serious injury, left her in hospital for several days.

Returning to the nursing home Friday afterlunch, she spent the weekend resting for the most part, breathing her last Sunday evening. There can be no mistaking where I was especially close and devoted to her, and vice versa, for all this time--and now, her departure leaves something of a void in my world.

At this time, funeral arrangements are pending; however, the family would prefer that, in lieu of flowers, donations to the memory of my mother, by name DeLorace Reed to be exact, be made to the American Heart Association and/or the American Diabetes Association, as you prefer. Additionally, any gifts you may want to extend me can be made through PayPal by clicking on the "donate" link off to the side of the page.

Hence, for the time being, as the title implies, insofar as my blogging is concerned, "there will be an interval." Do watch for my return, and patiently if at all possible.

So till next time, folks: "73"
(Which, incidentally, was railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "goodbye.")


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In a whimsically Hanna-Barbera state of mind

October 11, 2014


17h19 UTC; SATURDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2014: Last Saturday saw something of a milestone in American television history as was probably not one of the better such to consider: Such was the first time in the 60 years that the American free-to-air (as opposed to cable or satellite) networks did not air cartoons during their Saturday-morning programme. Which, come to think of it, shouldn't be something to shed tears over; rather, such may want to be a sign to recall the memories of the byproducts of especially the Hanna-Barbera animation studio, no doubt a key influence in the Saturday mornings of a generation or two as grew up on the vidiot's lamp of Diogenes.

And as Your Correspondent was a close acquaintenance at one point of the late Joseph Barbera per said Hanna-Barbera studio, such makes this a rather interesting time to imagine some whimsical mashup possibilities for segments of certain specimens of Hanna-Barbera's productions as came to moi "just out of the blue" (as it were) the other night (all for fun, mind you, especially should someone at the Hanna-Barbera unit of Warner Bros. Animation be reading this):
  • I can just imagine Scrappy-Doo's entrance line ("Ta-ta-ta-ta-daaahhhh! PUPPY POWER!!!!"), delivered rather bombastically, being cut short at "Puppy--" by some sort of calamity as is evident by crashing, camera shake, whatever ... to be followed by a blank screen with the ensuing audio being something on the order of "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight)?" by Lonny Donnegan and The Skiffle Band, "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto, "United (Part One)" by The Music Makers or "The Lonely Surfer" by Jack Nitzsche.
  • Imagine the possibilities for this scenario as would drive Glenn Beck's conspiracy diagrammes even more illogical and incomprehensible: Having one of the "Splashback" commercials for Wisconsin Dells followed almost immediately by a choice example of a Cattanooga Cats musical sequence, in all its one minoota, 45 seconds or so of psychadelic/OpArt Luscious Glory as made such a cult classic among Hanna-Barbera's animated throughput ... which could be followed (even in its own right; i.e., without the commercial beforehand) by some specimen of TV signoff sequence.
  • To deal with the more obnoxiously blatant examples of conservative prolefeed such as on Fox News Channel or Fox Business, especially such as pander to the Moronic Underworld and its more basic brand of patriotism, imagine Sheriff Pudge Trollsom (per Trollkins) rejoindering with "Muffle it, Flake!" (as in Deputroll Flake Furkle, especially when his remarks get rather ridiculous or otherwise unworthy of going any further). Or, alternately, cut off the nonsense (to spare the audience further humiliation) and switch to a Woofer and Whimper exchange from Clue Club (which eventually became a show in its own right, as part of Skatebirds under stylee of Woofer and Whimper, Dog Detectives).
  • As for the hypocritical doublethink vis-a-vis Main Street prevailing on Fox News' Saturday-morning "Cost of Freedom" block, I'd cut to such clips from the Trollkins episode "Trolltown Goes Trollywood" in which a cheapshot film director, having come to Trolltown to film a movie on the cheap-and-quick with actress Lola LaTrolla, remarks at just how easy it was to take advantage of a "hick town" like Trolltown for filming his latest epic (or close to it)--even with Blitz Lumpkin cast as Trollzan of the Jungle. Alternately, consider such segments of Top Cat which has T.C. cooking up yet another scam to make a quick buck via the police telephone which Officer Dibble is forever unable to get access to, the rationale perennially given for seeking to evict Top Cat's crew.
  • To challenge the "War on Women" tropes common to conservative prolefeeders, especially such as condone the misogynistic, I'd cut to Huckleberry Hound's trademark rendition of "Clementine", with any ensuing comments should things be warranted. Or, equally worthwhile, imagine cutting to where Penny Hound dive-bombs it into that rickety police station file cabinet, his faithful cat Spot pounding away, to transform himself into Hong Kong Phooey.
Well, at least this is a beginning. Any other (un)likely possibilities in this respect can be offered in the comments section as follows.

So till next time, folks: "73"
(Which, incidentally, was railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "goodbye.")


Preferably through e-mail and/or social media:



Got comments?



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Iludium Phosdex Dyslexic. Unemployable because of past psychosexual abuse; hence, dependent upon State charity (and trying to supplement it through the Online Mall on this site). One of The People Our Parents Warned Us About who DO happen to have opinions. Yet nonetheless opinionate, as carried out in this rather esoterically-inclined blog, this New Explosion of Pedigreed Bull on Teh Innerwebz.
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